Monday, August 17, 2020

The Memory House - Spotlight Book Tour

The Memory House: A Love Story in Two Acts by Jenetta James

Publication Date: August 10, 2020
Quills and Quartos Publishing
Paperback & eBook; 276 pages
Genre: Historical Romance

A house in one of London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods is home to secrets, mysteries, and two love stories spanning two centuries. In 1859, independent-minded Kitty Cathcart dreams of escaping Veronica Gardens but her father’s determination to marry her off to a rich man of his choosing forces her to seek happiness and find her own voice by other means. And then the handsome but poor Alex Faraday walks through the front doors. In 2019, Oxford-educated Josie Minton never dreamt of living in a house as grand as Veronica Gardens, but the nanny’s quarters are a perfect fit for a young woman in need of a job. Wealthy financier James Cavendish and his twin girls quickly find her indispensable to their happiness, but Josie is still searching for her future. Then the great house reveals the first of its secrets, and the tragedy and romance of one era are brought into sharp relief with another. 

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Jenetta James is a lawyer, writer, mother and taker-on of too much. She grew up in Cambridge and read history at Oxford University where she was a scholar and president of the Oxford University History Society. After graduating, she took to the law and now practises full time as a barrister. Over the years she has lived in France, Hungary and Trinidad as well as her native England. Jenetta currently lives in London with her husband and children where she enjoys reading, laughing and playing with Lego. She is the author of "Suddenly Mrs Darcy", "The Elizabeth Papers" and "Lover's Knot" as well as a contributor to The Quill Ink series of anthologies, "The Darcy Monologues", "Dangerous to know", "Rational Creatures" and "Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl".

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Firstly - a great big ‘thank you’ to Heather for having me. It is a great pleasure and an honour to visit.

A few people have asked me recently what I have read that influenced me to try and write myself. I was a bit embarrassed as, at first, I didn’t really know what to answer. I mean, I could say ‘it was all those years toiling over James Joyce and reading Chaucer in middle English’, but that would be completely untrue. Those years spurred me on in academic terms, but the books I read never made me want to write my own story.

It was all the books I ever read for fun, for pleasure, for unfettered indulgence, that turned me into a writer (of sorts). And, when I came to make a list, I found, strangely, that they all had either both feet, or at least one foot, in the past.

So what follows here is a quick run-down of my top 5 novelists who made me want to be a writer.

In no particular order….

1. Anya Seaton. I read most of the Anya Seaton novels when I was a teenager and they are definitely still around in my head. My obsession with dual time lines probably began with her seminal re-incarnation story ‘Green Darkness’ which will give you the shivers if anything will. Her ‘Katherine’ is also a big favourite, and like much of Seaton’s writing, flings you into another place.

2. Kathleen Winsor. I cried at the end of ‘Forever Amber’ and I’m not ashamed to admit it. My copy is the most appalling battered old thing, but I do love it so. There is so much passion and epic in the story and its the best fictional account of the plague that I recall reading.

3. Jean Plaidy. This lady was the most amazingly prolific novelist and she also wrote under other names (in fact, come to that, Jean Plaidy was not actually her name either). I collected the Jean Plaidy books by scouting ceaselessly round charity shops when I was a teenager, and I pretty much got ‘em all. I remember her Anne Boleyn story best of all, even now.

4. Sarah Waters. The writer of the best sex scene in literature and evidence, were evidence needed, that less is more in that department. (For anyone wishing to seek it out, it is in ‘Fingersmith’, but beware, it is a case of ‘blink and you miss it’). A wonderful wonderful writer.

5. Winston Graham. Because who could forget Poldark?! I love the later books as well as the earlier, much televised ones. And he also wrote a whole load of other books, in different periods, about different characters. He had that wonderful skill of moving between times with ease and fluency.

I’d love to hear if any of these old favourites are shared with others? Or is there some glaring omission from my list? Love to hear your comments.

Thank you for the recommendations Jenetta!  It was a pleasure to have you on Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen today!  

Monday, August 10 Review at Books and Backroads Tuesday, August 11 Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit Friday, August 14 Feature at The Caffeinated Bibliophile Saturday, August 15 Review at Gwendalyn's Books Monday, August 17 Guest Post at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen Wednesday, August 19 Review at Passages to the Past Thursday, August 20 Excerpt at Bookworlder Monday, August 24 Review at A Darn Good Read Wednesday, August 26 Feature at Reading is My Remedy Friday, August 28 Excerpt at Probably at the Library Review at Books, Writings, and More Sunday, August 30 Review at Nursebookie Monday, August 31 Review at Tangents and Tissues

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of The Memory House! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on August 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter. The Memory House


  1. Oh how I adore Jean Plaidy! What a great list! Thank you so much for hosting Jenetta's blog tour & post!

    HF Virtual Book Tours

  2. I loved another of your recommendation, Jenetta, of a few years back. CUT TO THE QUICK by Kate Ross. BTW you know what a fan I am of your books and how I especially loved this latest novel. I think readers who enjoy Lauren Willig novels will also enjoy this THE MEMORY HOUSE.

    1. Thank you for visiting Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen Christina! Have a wonderful week!